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October 7, 2015

'Parks and Recreation' Season 3, Episode 4 Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 10th 2011 11:00PM
'Parks and Recreation' - 'Ron & Tammy II'['Parks and Recreation' - 'Ron & Tammy II']

Every 'Parks and Rec' fan has been looking forward to this episode since the moment its name showed up in IMDb. At least, people got excited the moment they heard that Megan Mullally was going to come back to torment Ron, who just happens to be played by her husband, Nick Offerman. NBC's fantastic trailer for the episode made the anticipation even greater.

Both Offerman and Mullally have said in the past that the fact that they're married to each other allows them to go pretty far with Ron and Tammy, and it comes through on screen. No amount of acting can make up for the chemistry of a real couple being all over each other like Ron and Tammy are.

So the sequel to last year's epic Ron/Tammy throwdown had a lot of the same elements that made last year's version the funniest episode of the season. While it didn't quite reach that episode's heights, it still had more than enough funny, cringeworthy and downright gross moments to be very satisfying.

This time around, we didn't need much exposition on why Tammy and Ron are a toxic mix, stuff about how the library is the most evil place on earth. The writers structured the episode in a way that will allow a 'Parks' newbie to get the story without prior knowledge, but the laughs are so much bigger if you know the backstory.

"I know Tammy seems scary," Leslie starts, "but really, she's just a manipulative, psychotic, library book-peddling, sex-crazed she-demon." That's all you pretty much need to know.

This is a woman who can toss Tom into a bookshelf, call him Glenn and not even blink. She can take a manly man like Ron Swanson and make him into a cornrow-wearing, kimono-clad wimp. She can wield a stick of beef jerky like it's something more than beef jerky. She's just crazy, and one of the best sitcom creations this side of Colonel Flagg on 'M*A*S*H.'

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Ron & Tammy II'And it's always funny to see Ron under Tammy's spell. He always thinks he won't get sucked in this time around, but as soon as he spends any time alone with her, the trouble starts. Tom knew this, but Tom being Tom, he insisted on bringing Tammy to the cop happy hour just to get back at Ron for dating Wendy. Little did he know that Wendy is going back to Canada, a place that might as well be Iran as far as Ron is concerned (his spit take when Wendy asked if she would move with him was classic). You keep forgetting how emotionally immature Tom can be, but the knowledge that "Captain Mustache plowing my ex-wife" is too much for him.

Lord knows how much of that montage of Ron and Tammy's night didn't make the cut. It was funny to see the immediate cut from the two of them leaving the bar to the next morning in the holding cell. My favorite part is when they take the time to register at Bed Bath and Beyond, then fly through the aisles. Is there a BBB in Pawnee that's open that late? Ron's "It's been kind of a crazy night" was the understatement of the year.

Even a lucid Ron on videotape couldn't convince Tammy-fied Ron to dump her. "She's a monstrous parasite that entered through your privates and lodged herself in your brain."

The most cringeworthy part? "It rubbed of f... from the friction." Ugggnnhhh ....

The other stories in the episode were fun, but they couldn't hold a candle to the Ron and Tammy drama. April's painful moans as Chris gave her the "Good Job" sticky note shows that Chris' relentless positivity was making a dent in her relentless hostility. And I'm not sure if I like seeing a malleable Ann; she was even ordering like Chris: "I'd like a glass of wine, I'd like it to be Chardonnay, and I'd like one ice cube in it."

It was fun, though, to see Ben not only find out why so many people like doing nice things for Leslie -- "She uses her favors to do good things for people," said the police chief -- but he also now realizes that Pawnee is not a calzone town. "They're like pizzas, but they're harder to eat. They're dumb, and so is that idea," said Leslie.

More fun stuff:

-- The cops doing their cop-ese talk to the camera after Tammy slapped Ron, describing them by age and build, then concluding that Tammy is "a real piece of work," was a fun quickie joke.

-- Andy: "Does Captain Mustache wear a cape when he plows her?"

-- How Jerry knew Ron and Tammy registered at BBB is beyond me, by the way; maybe he gets alerts in his inbox.

-- Tammy, after Ron finally comes to his senses: "I faked four out of the 7!" Ron: "So did I." Male fake orgasms were funny when Kramer talked about them 20 years ago, and they're funny now.

-- Are Ron and Tammy actually married? That was never addressed. It did seem like the license was obtained under illegal circumstances (i.e. Ron's fist through the clerk's window).

-- By the way, what was with that promo for April and Andy's wedding registry? Did they mean to say Ron and Tammy? According to HitFix's Alan Sepinwall, it's a screw-up. But it seems too purposeful to be a complete screw-up. Are they telling us something about a future episode?

'Parks and Recreation' airs Thursdays at 9:30PM ET on NBC.

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Man I love this show so much. Even though a ton of people watch it I still think it's HUGELY under-rated. Amy Poehler is just fantastic, and this years addition of Rob Lowe was a stroke of genius. As a DISH customer/employee I get to enjoy all the shenanigans in awesome HD, as well as over 200 National HD channels. Can't wait for next week!

February 11 2011 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Glad to see you loved the episode as much as I did!! And NICE reference to Colonel Flagg!! Wow =)

February 11 2011 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

thanks for the info!!! could be a screw up but the clip of april on andy's lap that was used for the promo makes me think it wasn't (don't recall this happening, could have been from a future episode) and that it was just a premature airing and total plot spoiler. hope i'm wrong, love this show and i'd hate for a major plot line to be ruined!

February 11 2011 at 12:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

can you comment about the promo NBC ran during parks and recreation alluding to an april/andy wedding?

February 10 2011 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Melissa's comment

I added something at the bottom of the recap about it. It feels like a screw up to me.

February 10 2011 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, what was with that!? Usually their promos like that (like Jim and Pam's wedding guest book) are actually legit, but that came out of nowhere.

February 11 2011 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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